Tag Archives: patio remodel

Getting Unstuck.

In general, I’m pretty good at initiating projects, planning and projecting schedules, and following them through to their glorious completion. Project management brings me great joy. Or maybe I should say, finishing projects brings me great joy. And satisfaction. And self-worth. And peace.

So last year, when we stalled out on like 15 different projects, I was upended into foreign and treacherous territory. Burnout territory.

We all know the perils of burnout. We hear about how bad it can be. We listen to podcasts and read blogs about warning signs of it and how-to avoid it – complete with methods to overcoming it. But still, so many of us fall victim to it.

For me, there is something about finishing projects, completing tasks, overcoming milestones, that maintains my self-esteem and sense of self-worth. When I boil it down to basics, I simply feel at ease once I’ve accomplished something. I can rest at the end of each day, knowing that my checklists are complete. But left to my own devices, I tend to take on too much. “Think of how awesome it will feel to get every thing done!” So I add more and more…and more to the plan – until finally, boom, insert some unforeseen circumstance, and all of a sudden, everything comes to a full stop.

And that is when I want to lose my mind. I cannot handle being stuck. I need progress.

This is the point in the post that I want to pause and fully explain all of the projects, their status, and why we stalled out.  Suffice to say, we had just completed a major section of our  patio – yard – house remodel, and our contractor went m.i.a.  Literally he just vanished. I tried to re-inspire him to finish our project, but he didn’t respond. No replies. No explanations. I was stuck. And so it stopped.

For about 4 months. The projects. They all stopped.

To clarify…they all stopped, but I didn’t stop. I wish I could say that I took the time to rest. Relax. Enjoy the progress we’d made thus far.  Nope. I spent hours, and days and weeks looking for a new contractor, I researched how to finish certain things on my own, I googled metal fabricators, fence builders, elevator lift vendors, I called friends for recommendations on landscapers, powder coating shops, vent covers. e.t.c.!

I was determined. I had vision. I had a new day planner.

And sure enough. The wheels started slowly turning…like when a train begins to move from a dead stop. Very slow at first, one project started getting some traction. A landscape contractor, who went to my alma mater Cal Poly, signed on to the project (Go Mustangs!), and I started getting clarity on the finishing touches that would bring our projects to life.

I’m happy to say, that some how, it was probably the day planner, I stayed focused and got unstuck. And one by one, our projects are getting finished. And I’m ready to bring you along and show you what we’ve done!  One day, I’ll follow up with some learnings on burnout and rest. But for now…get a good planner, stay focused. That’s my learning!

Next week. The Garage. Stay tuned.

 



How To Build A Patio In California

How to build a patio in California…?

I’ll cut to the chase, after getting past the city requirements, I thought we were talking about a cement truck backing into our yard and dumping out the concrete ready to be shaped into place. I mean how hard can it be? Everyone has a patio.

But it turns out, at our house, it first involves about 6 weeks of digging.  Digging with tractors, digging with jack hammers, and lot’s of digging with pick axes. Digging to that point where you can’t see the top of the digger’s head because he’s digging so deep.

We expressed to a few people, one of which was our handy contractor, that, had we known about all of the digging, and the city requirements for a patio build, we would’ve probably put in a pool. Mr. Contractor explained that yes, a pool would’ve actually been easier and cheaper…that here on the coastal side of California, they like to dig those patio footers down to about middle-earth, ensuring that even an act of God couldn’t move that concrete.

Well despite that bit of not-so-helpful-after-the-fact information, we’re keeping our eye on the prize. At the end of this, we will have a beautiful indoor-outdoor living space. And in the meantime, we live in the sheer exhilaration and terror of the crew coming each day to demo and dig…all getting us one step closer to the build.

Here’s a little review of the last six weeks…

WEEK ONE:  Well, to start, I missed the very first strike of demo day: 

And then, they were off and sprinting…
BTW-Week One consisted of only two days, because they started on a Thursday. If only I could accomplish this much in two days: 

END OF WEEK TWO: So, we high-tailed it out of town for a week. When we returned and pulled in to our “driveway”, this is what we saw:

WEEK THREE: The crew came back after the 4th of July holiday, and actually started framing out the planters that will be in the patio. Yay for building stuff! 

Don’t be confused though, they’re still digging over on this side…

END OF WEEK FOUR: just some refinement digging…

Now to be honest, I’m not sure what happened in Week’s Five and Six. There were little structures built to hold dirt in and mark where the garage will be. The trenches were dug deeper. And there was lot’s of rebar being bent into shapes.  Oh…and there was this thing that happened with our septic tank – but that’s another story for another day (and not in a blog post).

Anyway, all of this was getting us ready to have our first inspection – which is happening today!
So, enjoy our current view as we wait: 

If our inspector is happy, there will be a cement truck here by the end of this week, pouring the footings for the planters. As explained by Mr. Contractor, this will be the first of probably 4 different concrete pours in the process.

Really…you can’t just back the truck in and dump a whole bunch of concrete down??? *sigh*

So stay tuned…more to come. And hopefully we’ll find out what is going to happen with all of that dirt!?!
Follow along on our entire house remodel here. 

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And Over Here In Project Planning Land …

The first quarter of 2017 is such a blur.
But I gotta say, it was (and continues to be) a productive and rather focused season in the studio. We’re gearing up to release loads of new music with a bunch of fantastically talented artists – and we’re excited to share!!

Meanwhile, as Bobby’s been holed up at CatBeach – doing his thing, I’ve been in project planning mode (one of my favorite places to be). I’m still working on initial details on a bunch of plans, but I just can’t wait to get started…so, I thought I’d give a few sneaks…1) First up is this super fun shipping container retrofit that we’re installing on the side of our house, overlooking a huge canyon and the LA city lights. The container will be a multi-use space primarily focused as a writing room, complete with a set up to record vocals. Bobby and our friend Craig, of Rook and Render, dreamt up this whole thing last year. And I laughed. These two have LOT’S of ideas and this was just one that I figured would come and go. And then, I received this little mock-up. And I knew…this thing is happening. And now, here we are…fine-tuning some details and hopefully placing an order for a new shipping container this week!

 

2) Behind the scenes, I am working on a little re-branding of Catbeach Music. We love our hand drawings of Bobby and some of his gear, which is the mark in our logo, but we’re looking to freshen it up a bit with new lettering and color palette. And I’ve got a new website and catalog database in the works as well. I just love the way these little details can come together to launch our business to the next level.

 

3) If you’ve been following along here on Records, Rockets and Rosemary, you know that we’ve been working on a house remodel for a few years, which started with a dream to create an indoor-outdoor living space. This project got stuck in the city planning department, so we put it on hold for about a year. But our plans are back at the city, complete with a new drainage plan for the entire property. We’re hoping to break ground with a two-week demo schedule starting in May.

 

4) And lastly, I’m learning all about designing rooms for accessibility – making spaces comfortable and useable for everyone. “The Accessible Home” by Deborah Pierce is a great resource.  We’re looking at ways to make my brother-in-law’s home a better fit for his lifestyle. We just installed this elevator lift and we have plans to modernize his bathrooms and kitchen. So fun!!

I’m just getting started on all of these projects. I’ll post details along the way, so follow here and let me know if you have any questions about the planning, process, or vendors!